Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

It is, of course, not a holiday here, although it has many roots here, as we all learned in elementary school and as Mrs. W, our friends and I were reminded when we visited Plymouth in Devon back in August. It's not a holiday here, so Mrs. W doesn't get the day off, but I'm not working, for money, anyway, because I work almost exclusively for Americans. (We get the Commie holiday, May Day, however). I am working, uncompensated, because I'm thinking about our menu for a Thanksgiving feast we're putting on for a mixture of English and American guests on Sunday. Thanks to the avian influenza outbreak in Suffolk, our butcher's turkey supplier cannot deliver, but we're promised ducks. So be it. We don't know what the Pilgrims ate, anyway.

I get the sense that there's some fascination with this holiday here, the idea that you take a day to give thanks to the deity of your choice (or fate) for what you have. I don't have a sense that there's any desire to add it to the rather meager holiday schedule here (OK, OK, there's the minimum four weeks of vacation), but I think people like the quaintness of the idea.

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Blogger oldest kid said...

I think they are pretty sure the pilgrims didn't eat turkeys. They may have eaten eel, though! Yum! We're having a goose, which Mr. OK is cooking himself, but we're waiting until Sat. when the whole family can be here. We're considering the movie Beowulf today. Have a Happy Thankgsiving at Americans Amuk!

2:03 PM  
Blogger Smitty Werbenmanjensen said...

Did I mention it's not a holiday here? I don't think I did often enough in that post.

3:41 PM  
Blogger oldest kid said...

I fully realize it's not a holiday over there. But, I can still wish you a Happy Thanksgiving, can't I?

6:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We do have something similar in England. Its called 'Harvest Festival'.

No, its not a holiday but it is a thanksgiving festival, and takes place on the Sunday closest to Harvest Moon or the autumn equinox (late September to early October).

In England, we have given thanks for successful harvests since pagan times, although now we celebrate by singing, praying and decorating our churches with baskets of fruit and food, much of the which is donated by children via their schools. The food is then blessed and distributed to the needy.

Could this be the forerunner of your US version?

10:36 PM  
Blogger Schmutz said...

anonymous, I think it would be a good guess that our Thanksgiving was patterned after your Harvest Festival. I would also guess that this echoes down from the earliest times when man first harvested seeds for survival through the winter. The Other Person Who Lives Here and I are retired farmers and I know we breathed a prayer of thanks when we finished our harvest.

2:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr Schmutz,

You would love our village Harvest Festival, and our Farmers would love you too. Respect.

2:37 AM  
Blogger Schmutz said...

Thank you for your kind invitation, if I can consider it such. When we plan our next visit to England, we will try to come at the time of the Harvest Moon and will look for a village that is celebrating the Harvest Festival. I bet Mrs W. and Smitty, the Amuck Americans, would enjoy that, too.

1:50 PM  

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